|Me on Barcelona beach with scarf|
I've always had a tricky "relationship" with scarves. The perky small ones make me look like a demented stewardess. The longer ones are usually too stiff, like I've swiped freshly-starched altar linens. This one is soft, lies flat, keeps you warm in the spring night chill and is flutteringly flattering over the puku (tummy) after too many pans of paella and "otre vino blanco" at Irati Taverna.
I know it seems like I'm forever swanning around the globe, but this is our first week away from the kids in nearly 14 years. (The previous four times have been two nights.) I'm keeping hubster company on a work trip. As you might remember the last time I did this, three-month old Harley pooped all over the white carpet in a Swiss Palace, so all good memories there.
|Door in Old Town|
The first day saw me doing a inspired audition for the part of the ugly tourist. We made the mistake of asking the concierge at Hotel Arts for a cheap and cheerful restaurant with a great paella. In my experience most young concierges send you to the theme park places. A $6 cab ride found us at pricey waterfront icon called Barceloneta with a paella heavy on the salt (and don't get me wrong I love salt) and spare on the seafood.
Feeling sorry for us, our hotel offered us dinner for two on the house. Undeterred by this graciousness, next day I turned up for a call-back audition for ugly tourist. I couldn't seem to communicate an order for a double non-fat latte in a tall cup.
After ten minutes I had attracted a crowd of staff around me translating my order into Spanish, each of them chiming in a new word. Eventually we had a ten-word description. My order was filled with much nodding and chatter and good-natured waving from the staff. Feeling pretty embarrassed by my inflexibility - couldn't I just have had a simple cafe con leche? - I headed to the old town with my friend Laura, who is also here.
Laura had the joy of sight-seeing with a blogger - someone who takes hundreds of photos in one day (one day I took 250!) someone who scuttles after people in the street who might make a good pic, someone who chats wildly to everyone and anyone. Or is that just me? We decided Laura should form a support group with my kids and family, sort of "blogger bystanders in line of fire".
|Laura and I at Hotel Arts|
We drifted through the old town among the wonderful 15th century churches. And down the street we came across "Happy Pills" candy for every part of your day...
|Happy Pills store|
|Laura outside knife and scissor store|
|Can Ganassa restaurant|
|View from Can Ganassa|
|Our waiter Adrian with "Whitu" tattoo|
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